There is some sour news to report on for those of you looking forward to seeing Dr. House go head-to-head with RoboCop. Hugh Laurie has either dropped out of the picture or has been dropped according to Variety’s Jeff Sneider. Any case , he will not be doing it anymore which many will find very disappointing. The prevailing theory at this point is that script problems caused negotiations to fall apart, but keep in mind that Laurie was at one point the highest paid thespian on television at $400,000 an episode.
That is not to say that he is greedy. It is rather to say Laurie could do whatever he wants the rest of his career and if he wants to play blue grass music all day or join more indie projects like The Oranges, he can afford to do so.
As far as the supposed ‘script woes,’ a noted critic of such instruments recently got his hands on RoboCop and he hated it. The plot apparently calls for an Iron Man-like origin of Afghanistan before coming home and a host of other clichés. While there may be enough to differentiate the movie from Marvel’s offering, it would appear that the goal is to turn RoboCop into a legitimate superhero and that might be enough to cause this week’s casting shakeup.
The good news is that the rest of the cast is still on board as far as we can tell. That includes Joel Kinnaman in the title role, Samuel L. Jackson as a media mogul, and Gary Oldman as RoboCop’s inventor. Less than high-profile parts will go to Jay Baruchel (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and Abbie Cornish (Limitless.) This Jose Padilha film is still on for an August 9, 2013 release.
Update: Apparently, the character the Hugh Laurie was going to play did not get written out. Deadline got to the bottom of things and discovered that MGM is currently in the process of finding a new man for the role of RoboCop’s principal antagonist and one of the actors being thought of is Clive Owen. The actor is coming off of the critically-acclaimed HBO film Hemingway and Gellhorn for which he received a shout out for Best Actor in a Mini or Movie.
Most audiences will remember him from his glory days last decade via the 2006 classic Children of Men, Sin City, and Closer. If he is the one who eventually wins the gig, expect it to happen sooner rather than later as RoboCop is about to begin filming.